Opposition to new transit is a fact of life

April 11

Often when a city proposes its first rail line, opponents who don’t like spending money on transit call for bus-rapid transit instead. So it’s tempting to think that cities might have an easier time creating transit lines if they simply planned BRT from the start. Unfortunately, BRT often faces the exact same opposition.

Nashville is the latest city to face strong opposition to its first BRT project, called the Amp. The Tennessee state legislature recently passed a bill blocking the line.

The debate mirrors one going on a few hundred miles north, in Cincinnati. There, opponents tried to kill that city’s first streetcar line. The state government even tried to block it.

Both Nashville and Cincinnati are among America’s most car-dependent and least transit-accessible large cities. Nashville’s entire regional transit agency only carries about 31,000 passengers per day. Cincinnati’s carries about 58,000.

For comparison, Montgomery County’s Ride-On bus carries 87,000, never mind WMATA.

[Continue reading this post at BeyondDC.]

Dan Malouff is an Arlington County transportation planner who blogs independently at BeyondDC.com. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

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